Ford has unveiled an earlier-than-expected “kinetic design” facelift for its European best-seller, the Focus.
An array of economy-boosting models and modifications will take the refreshed Focus much closer to European CO2 targets and challenge VW’s new Blue Motion Golf range head-on.
It has also launched the much-heralded six-speed, DSG-style paddle-shift gearbox under the name PowerShift, linking it at launch with the staple 136bhp 2.0 litre TDCi diesel engine.
The ’08 Focus economy range — in which every 1.6-litre diesel model can equal or beat 120 gm/km — is spearheaded by a special ECOnetic version, with improved aerodynamics, various electronic tweaks and low rolling resistance tyres, is claimed to average 65.7 mpg and emit just 115gm/km of CO2.
Three-door, five-door and estate versions of the ’08 Focus will be in production by the year-end, and will be joined soon afterward by saloon, ST and coupe-cabrio models.
There is no mention of chassis changes: product boss Gunnar Herrmann says he’s “proud of the many Focus attributes that did not have to be touched”.
The Focus styling changes start with a trapezoidal grille similar to that of the recently launched Mondeo, and include more muscular flanks, a new-shape rear window, a neater tail treatment and LED tail lights on high-line models.
The car also gets newly designed instruments with red night lighting, and a more stylish kinetic design centre stack for middle and upper models.
Other options include a keyless starter system (Ford calls it the Power Button), a 230-volt inverter, a USB connector, a Mondeo-style capless fuel filler and a tyre pressure warning system.
When linked with the 2.0 litre diesel, the new PowerShift transmission saves around 10 per cent of fuel and CO2 compared with a conventional six-speed auto, Ford claims.
The company expects strong early demand, but will extend the new transmission to other petrol and diesel variants as soon as supply permits.